Do you ever ask yourself why you clicked on a web link?
You may have noticed that there are some websites that have become masters in the art of ‘clickbaiting’.
According to Oxford Dictionaries, the definition of “clickbait” is:
“(On the Internet) content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page.”
You may have been baited yourself before and not even realized it. That’s clickbaiting at its best. You see the headline for an article and you just have to click on it. Maybe it was salacious celebrity gossip, or a listicle, or examples of cosmetic surgery gone wrong, or essential life tips. It could even have been an article on how to market your law firm.
Psychology plays a big part in the effectiveness of clickbaiting and with my tips below, it’s a tactic you can easily start using for your own law firm.
Any business that depends on its website for new clients and customers is nothing without traffic. Your law firm is no different. Competition for traffic is getting tougher all the time. It’s not enough to just have good content on your website, you have to optimize it and share it in a way that builds traffic to your website.
Basically, you need content your target market will click on. To perfect that, you have to think about what people see that will make them click on the link, whether it’s in search results, in their email, on social media or even on your own website.
To get clicks, you have to tease someone’s curiosity enough to make them want to investigate further. That means the headline is the place to start if you want traffic for your content.
One of PILMMA’s Platinum members shared an article at last week’s Mastermind meetings, 3 Powerful Reasons For Using Odd Numbered Lists In Your Blog Post Titles. The article’s author, Steve Davis, shares his formula for writing powerful headlines, which is one of my 5 crazy hacks. Davis explains why it works:
- The power of laziness
- The power of odd numbers
- The power of adjectives
Laziness – People want easier lives. An article that offers “5 easy ways” to do something offers a helpful shortcut for them and their inherent laziness.
Odd numbers – Davis looked at research that explains why odd numbers are more persuasive and found some key points:
- “grouping information in parcels of three or five can help people absorb information better.”
- “research suggests we struggle to process more than 9 items in a row.”
- “the simple act of breaking up larger chunks of information into odd-numbered batches helped the brain process the information in manageable groups.”
- “In marketing communication, it is also believed that odd numbers of facts suggest the content of the list has been dictated by the nuggets of information available, making it more authentic, than even numbered lists. This is especially relevant to ‘Top 10’ lists because most of us believe something has been added to flesh out the list, or trimmed to keep it, within the round number.”
Adjectives – flowery language goes a long way with headlines. Which one of these headlines does a better job of tickling your curiosity?
“5 Easy Ways to Get More Clients”
“5 Outrageous Ways To Skyrocket Your Caseload”
No contest really, it has to be the second headline and its use of an adjective. “Outrageous” piques curiosity more that “easy” does.
Here’s Steve Davis’s formula for headline writing:
(odd number) (adjective) (mistakes/tips/insights/shortcuts) for (achieving/avoiding) (desired outcome/disaster)
In one sense, it’s all about the value that the visitor will get from consuming your content. It has to be worth their time to click on your link and hear what you have to say. If, for example, your web content is really nothing more than local accident reports, you’re not offering the value that potential clients are looking for.
If you’ve written a killer headline using the above formula to tickle the reader’s curiosity, you want to ensure your content lives up to the promise you just made. If your headline is good and the content matches the headline, some visitors may share the link with others, growing your traffic. I’ve seen clickbait where the headline falsely advertised the content of the article. If you don’t satisfy the reader, you’ll frustrate them, and they won’t share your content.
Over the last few months we’ve started to place more importance on the images we use on social media to drive traffic to PILMMA’s content. This is an area that is often overlooked by law firms.
On social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, an image occupies substantial online real estate on a timeline. The right image can attract curiosity. But you can also lay text on top of the image to help you communicate the right message. The juxtaposition of the words with the image help to communicate to people who are looking at their timelines, without feeling like they’re actually reading anything.
Take a look at how you can optimize your content for social media. If you have a WordPress website, you can use a plugin like Yoast to use a different headlines and images when your link is shared on social media. You can use the Facebook debugging tool to test and see how your content will appear:
There’s no point having the perfect clickbait content if no one knows about it. Advertise your content on social media and using networks like Outbrain.
So now that I’ve successfully clickbaited YOU, here’s this explanation condensed down into my 5 Crazy Hacks To Clickbait Your Law Firm Web Content:
- Tickle and satisfy the reader’s curiosity
- Provide useful ‘short-cut’ information for lazy people
- Use Steve Davis’s headline formula, including an odd number
- Optimize your headline and image for social media
They’re crazy because they’re so simple. With these 5 crazy hacks, any law firm can multiply the traffic to their website.